I am SO glad to be here!! After the long 15 hour flight (and a second, 2 hour flight), we finally arrived here in Cincinnati. Because of some traffic, my kids and parents got to the airport a little late, so we were standing there talking with my inlaws when they arrived. Seeing Will's face was especially priceless as he took off running for us and jumped into Jim's arms. :)
Eli did pretty well on the flight, all things considered. He played well with the things we brought, slept REALLY well (this kid can fall asleep at the drop of a hat), and endured the long lines going through security and customs. He had 3 or 4 screaming, hitting, kicking fits which were extremely wearing on both of us, and for this reason, I am so glad to be home where people aren't looking at me in a sort of "those mean American parents are picking on that poor Chinese child" kind of way. On a plane, there isn't much you can do more than restraining his hands and legs to stop from being kicked and hit. We'd hold them and then allow him to calm down while we spoke calmly to him. When he started up again (and he usually did, until about 20-30 minutes into each one), we'd begin the process again.
By the end of the flight, I had had it. My perspective was totally skewed....not because I was tired from the flight or anything...and I continued to pray for God to give me the wisdom and strength as well as the heart for this child that obviously He has. At that moment, a flight attendant arrived. My tired brain thought here we go...someone who thinks we're abusing the child by restraining his hands and feet and is going to try and appease him. (I might add that I was chuckling to myself because anyone who tried up until that point got smacked. LOL)
She asked if we spoke Mandarin (um, no.) and began speaking to him. Now, I have no idea what was said, but he smiled. For all I know, she may have been telling him that his parents were nuts. It hit me at that moment that although he is not going to be allowed to hit or kick us, I also needed to remember that his life had just been turned upside down, and that he was scared, without parents who really understood what he said.
Interestingly, once my perspective was brought back to where it should have been, his demeanor changed too. The second short flight was much better and the past day and a half at home have been very pleasant. He's playing with our other three much better than we ever expected, and we've been the recipient of some hugs and kisses. He's also already learned to say sorry in English and has used it twice, once without prompting. He's been much more gentle with us and it has been an entire day without my glasses being ripped off of my face. ;)
What a difference a day makes.